It’s been more than a year, does that mean a season? Lol, So I’m three boxes deep 4 boxes total the bottom last give em room no comb. I’m planning on adding bee escape soon I haven’t inspected this whole time. Just viewing Windows. I left for a week in June, I come back and on one frame there where like 3 Queen cells so I’m guessing a swarm happened or the original Queen battled IDK, but I’m seeing some honey in the third box everything looks good I haven’t seen the Queen since I packaged her, I haven’t fired up the smoker even, I’m wondering do I take both boxes the very first or second one at a time? Inspect first? What if there just ain’t Jack in both boxes, when Do I split should I have already,
When Do I requeen, did they already? Is it too late when should I next year before or after swarm.
I would highly recommend that you get in touch with your local beekeepers association to see if you can get some help. It is very late in the season to do a split and if you haven’t inspected, then you really don’t have the information you need to make any decisions. The bees need enough honey stores to last them all winter so they don’t starve. If it were me, I would seek some help locally because this is a good time to decide what to do before winter.
I don’t mean to sound callous, but you should have been taking some type of beginner beekeeping classes and inspecting your hive on a regular basis. As a new beekeeper you should be inspecting your hive at least every two weeks or more, if for nothing else just to see what their are doing and get the feeling for what a happy or unhappy hive looks and acts like.
That said, just because they made swarm cells doesn’t mean they have swarmed. What is the population of your hive look like since you have returned? Do you have any new eggs or larva on your frames? Is most or all of your honey gone? A swarmed hive will have eaten almost all of its honey, and the population will be less than half what it was. Also the new queen (if you have one) wont start laying eggs for around two weeks after hatching out.
You should use some type of mite treatment in the next week or so to make sure your hive survives the winter. That hive will be over run with varroa mite. You should check to see if you have any bees crawling around on the ground near your hive with malformed wings or no wings. This is a sure sign of varroa infestation.
You would only make a split on a very strong hive, or to try to avert a swarm. The only reason a first year hive would swarm is if they ran out of room or had an issue with their hive, physical, chemical or parasitic. I other words water leaks(mold) that they could not fix, some type of poisoning, or mites, ant, robber wasps. You get the picture.
Finally, the only reason you would requeen at this point is if your hive didn’t have a viable queen and they had no usable or young enough larva to make one on their own. You would have to do a hive inspection to discern that. Good luck.
Beekeeping is not a hands off operation no matter what you hear. The only way to succeed is to learn as much as possible and interact with your bees, only as it is needed, but it is needed.
Thank you, your absolutely right, I did do a starting beekeeping class last year basics and ever since I’ve watch videos and read blogs after blogs, learn as much as I can take. Enjoying everminute of tge complicated intricate life of the bee. I’m by myself without a good lift. I’m already messing up for not having two hives? Like really c’mon I have 5 boxes thinking I can yeah make another seperate hive out of that but when how. but I need to do more of the hands on approach now getting comfy inspecting. But i don’t wanna mess things up do abunch of nothing for no reason, I have nightmares screwing up my hive. At first I boughta Hd inspection snake Camera im such a goon, The Queens only a year old, so I guess that doesn’t matter, the population is huge I have so many friggin bees im in gresham urban environment pollen pouring in, last year mites weren’t really bad until like in fall couple weeks the bottom board complely covered in mites I didnt treat, screen bottom only feed Honey B healthy with supplements, but should i thymol it or use strips of im on a natural approach fuck varroa, i love my hive i dont any bafd to happen. still should of been inspecting every two weeks, what just for laying pattern and for capped brood and comb or whatelse the order of the frames? And like where things are oriented? but from what i read inspecting sets em back, k how much, just the proplis sealing? Okay i know your right I overthink things so I’m cracking the thing open right now I’m inspecting right now I start with the first box and what I’m looking for is capped brood and then capped honey and then what all I see are a bunch of bees and comb
I’m not suggesting that you open your hive just for the purpose of going in. You should have a plan. Like my plan two weeks ago was to open 4 hives do a super fast inspection to check brood pattern see how the honey stores were holding up, We are in a dearth now so I want to see if I need to feed based on how fast they are consuming their stored supplies. My main reason was to add some mite away quick strips, but first I must make sure they can handle them, my weather temps were perfect to use them last week.
I had a small kill off of the weaker bees, but all is good. I left them in for a week and removed them last weekend, all queens intact and doing fine. I will hit them in two weeks with oxalic acid treatments and be good for winter. then they should have a nice goldenrod flow to fatten their stores for the cold months ahead, if I’m luck they may even give me some fall honey. In October I will pull any remaining supers and switch to solid bottom boards with mouse guards, and in November add my candy boards and touch up the teak oil on my hives and wait out the winter. In February I will add food if needed and get my equipment ready for spring.
I never just open to open. I always have a plan. Wednesday the weather is going to be good so I will open my NUC and put in another gallon of feed to keep them drawing comb. That should be it unless I see the bees acting odd at the other hives.
All I’m saying is learn your bees, what they need what they will need how they act what pisses them off and what makes them happy. I know on a warm day a little shot of sugar water with lemon grass oil really makes them happy when I open the hive. Just don’t do it during a dearth or you will set off robbing from your other hives, or wasps in the area. Good luck, and try to find someone in your area that is willing to instruct you when you have questions or join your local bee club if you have one. People will help if you ask. Before I go I would like to ask you to at least do a mite knock down your bees might meet mine in a field some day and I would like mine to come home mite free.